"Business Premier, I see you folks all working," raps Randa two minutes into Air New Zealand's latest safety video, the one that riffs on Run DMC and Sisters Underground hits across it's interminable four minutes.

If you've seen it, and let's face it, if you've used the national carrier just once since the video's launch in November, you've definitely been forced to endure its unbearable awfulness, you'll know your next stop is cringe city.

"Sit up right, hands on thighs, feet on floor," Randa continues, as Kings does exactly that, before delivering the punch line: "It's just like twerking."

Now, I'm a semi-frequent traveller. I get around a bit. Mostly, I do that getting around in the cheap seats, slumming it back in the snack-less, movie-free, leg-numbing zone that is economy. I'm totally fine with that.


Occasionally though, through occasional Airpoints mileage overflow or thanks to some serious nagging at work, I get to sit up front. I'm six-foot-four, and it takes hours to unfold myself from even short trips in economy. So trust me, I make the most of it.

But here's the thing: not once have I enjoyed the luxury of priority boarding, plonked myself down into my giant seat, stretched out my legs, browsed through the three-course menu, sipped my free champagne and thought to myself: "This is just like twerking."

I haven't done that, because, for the record, I have never twerked, and, like all four minutes of the Air New Zealand safety video, that is, quite simply, ridiculous.

Kings performs in Air New Zealand's latest safety video.
Kings performs in Air New Zealand's latest safety video.

Apparently Denzel Curry agrees with me. Alongside Florence & the Machine and Jorja Smith, the Florida rapper delivered one of the best performances at Monday's Laneway Festival. His next stop is Laneway's Australian leg. How'd he get there? Air New Zealand. Did he watch the video? Of course he did.

According to one Twitter user sitting behind him on his Tuesday flight, Curry could be heard muttering the words, "It's still going," two minutes into the safety clip. That's around the time Randa's twerk pun drops. That same flyer described the experience as "the peak second hand embarrassment experience of my life".

I feel her pain. I also feel the pain of anyone else forced to sit through it. Like Donald Glover. Thanks to a tweet from his tour manager, we have proof that when the Atlanta creator, This Is America rapper, and Star Wars star visited in November for his Pharos Festival performance, he was also forced to watch the whole thing.

Earlier this month, Anderson .Paak was here performing in Spark Arena. He saw it, and he took to social media to respond. He used a face-palm emoji. Appropriate.

One of these incidents would be bad enough, but now we know that three big names have seen this train wreck. Our national embarrassment is becoming an international joke. How many other recent visitors have thought mocking thoughts but showed enough self restraint not to post about it? What impression is it giving them? Do they think our music industry is full of airline safety rappers?


There's a serious side to something that seems, on the surface, so silly. I worry it will affect the careers of the young artists involved. I'm scared Kings is getting yelled lines like, "The sign is significant, smoking is prohibited," out of passing cars when he's walking down the street, or that Randa is asked to repeat lines like, "Oh my gosh, this is simple," when meeting fans.

I hate to think how many ironic selfies Julian Dennison has to pose for when he takes a flight now. I hope Theia isn't reading the Facebook and Twitter comments.

Randa, Julian Dennison and Kings in the Air New Zealand safety video.
Randa, Julian Dennison and Kings in the Air New Zealand safety video.

And that's just not fair. Randa's 2013 single Frankenstein remains an electro-rap stunner with a killer throwback video, and their electric opening slot at the final Big Day Out in 2014 still stands out in my mind. Kings is a prolific music creator, and while he needs a bit of editing - his latest album was a double disc effort - he's capable of magic moments, like his song Damage, a dissemination on the trappings of fame.

Theia's single Bad Idea last year proved she has strong messages behind her music, and she's only just started. And Julian Dennison was in Deadpool 2. Deadpool 2! He's friends with Ryan Reynolds now! He's only 16!

There's no doubt this safety video is a complete and utter dud. I've heard stories of Air New Zealand hosts apologising for it during flights. I'm utterly over it, and I'm yet to meet anyone with anything good to say about it. The chorus of hate is overwhelming.

Air New Zealand, it's time to switch the record: your video needs to disappear immediately, before it does lasting damage.

If you're looking for a replacement, you could try Cardi B's latest video. It won't save anyone in an accident, but at least it's got the appropriate usage of the word 'twerk' in it.